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Summary:

Many of us think we do. Yet it’s widely-known and accepted that most of what we see, hear, and read in traditional media is owned and dispensed by a handful of corporations, whose interests and/or technological limitations all-too-often conflict with giving us effective coverage of all […]

Road to Democracy 1.0Many of us think we do. Yet it’s widely-known and accepted that most of what we see, hear, and read in traditional media is owned and dispensed by a handful of corporations, whose interests and/or technological limitations all-too-often conflict with giving us effective coverage of all issues at hand.

Why is it that in the U.S., every 4 years, despite many running candidates, we essentially get to hear from only two presidential candidates, supported by the two major parties? We, the people, don’t get to decide. Because we’re not offered the chance to participate, in an effective (primaries are costly) manner, in the selection process. Because effectively promoting presidential candidates, currently requires purchasing massive amounts of Television air-time, which requires a lot of money, typically raised by the two major parties.

If you don’t belong to either party, you might as well not exist. The U.S. isn’t the only country plagued with such issues.

Recognizing this, the folks from ParticipatoryCulture.org have been building an Internet-based broadcasting platform, that harnesses the low-costs of publishing, and diversity of content afforded by the Internet Protocol and Peer-to-Peer technologies.

We’ve covered them before.

The first release of their TV software was for OS X, while their broadcast platform has always been pretty platform-agnostic. This is rather noteworthy. Few non-specialized companies out there release Mac software first. Could it be … they thought differently?.

All software they produce is open-source, under the GPL.

What’s new since then?

As of a few months ago, their player is now also available for Windows and Linux.

While it was unclear what their business model was going to be back then, they’ve now formed an official U.S. non-profit organization, donations to which are tax-deductible.

If you deem their efforts noteworthy, you might first consider downloading their player, actively using it, and get your Windows and Linux friends to do the same. The player has BitTorrent-based peer-to-peer capability built into it. Which means the more people use the software, the better the entire ecosystem performs.

A next valuable step might be to donate to their organization. While they’re actively working toward a 1.0 release, they can’t code on empty stomachs. If they’re able to deliver on their stated visions, your donation just may help trigger a profound grassroots technology-induced human evolution.

A couple of questions to the developers:

1) have you looked into solving NAT issues with BitTorrent?
2) have you looked at dijjer.org? What about its commercial predecessor, redswoosh.net? Both claim to solve most NAT issues.

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  1. Chris Holland Sunday, April 30, 2006

    eh! just sent a measly fitty-bucks Democracy’s way. No dinner for me!

  2. I’ve used their software for some time now and love it. Like some people I’m neither to the right nor to the left. I don’t hear either parties reflecting my best interest… oh, wait, that’s right, the player… Love it!

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